Welcoming a New Season

Ashley Danyew | Welcoming a New Season

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Ecclesiastes 3 has been on my heart and mind lately. "To everything there is a season; a time for every purpose under heaven..." Maybe it's the hint of fall in the air (after all, the Pumpkin Spice Latte did come out this week) or the promise of structure that the school year provides. Whatever the reason, I've been thinking back on the "seasons" I've had so far this year:

In February, I entered into a season of grieving after losing my Grammy very suddenly. Everything changed, and yet, I stocked up on colorful Clare cardigans at J.Crew Factory because I craved more change - I didn't know how to keep living with the way things were.

Then, in May, I wrote this post about the season of waiting. I still craved change - We almost bought a house, y'all. And got a new job. But, those things I thought we were waiting for (in reality, hoping for) did not happen. In the restless moments of this busy summer, waiting for tangible, visible change, I thought about contentment. This moment, our lives as they are right now - am I content?

Ashley Danyew | Welcoming a New Season

I'm beginning to realize that the need I felt for change earlier this year was really a need to escape. I was weary and overwhelmed and felt restless and unsettled. It wasn't about change; it was about security.

This morning, I read these words from Gretchen Saffles in my Instagram feed: "To find rest for our souls in the chaos of life is to 'stay' our mind on Christ . . . . finding stillness in the chaos isn't escaping life, but finding rest and hope in Jesus."

Here, at the end of summer, where the days are getting shorter and the busy school days of September are looming just ahead, I breathe in the cooler air on our evening walks and anticipate the glories of fall. I crave simplicity and peace and a slower pace. This is my season of contentment.

The journey to find contentment begins with joy and acceptance, gratitude and love.

It's a no-frills, nothin'-fancy, comfy-clothes kind of appreciation for the little things in life - the ordinary and the mundane, the take-out pizza for dinner after a long day of work and an evening of rehearsals, the simple things that make our house feel like home.

It's like the way Emily P. Freeman talks about Tuesdays in her book, A Million Little Ways:

Tuesday is the most sensible day of the week. Monday has the heavy job of shouldering the blame for the world’s bad mood. Sunday is all slow-cooked rest, Wednesday cheers us on with a halfway banner, and Thursday, aside from being the best night for TV, is basically a bright green arrow to the weekend. Is it even necessary to bring up the weekend days? How they play carefree, plan parties, host celebrations, and fancy nights out? Weekend days are lazy and spontaneous and gather up with friends and family.

But for all the ways I try to picture him differently, Tuesday is a perfectly ordinary, no-fuss, introverted day. No one says, “Thank God it’s Tuesday!” But there is something ordinary about Tuesday that attracts me.

Maybe it’s a different day for you, but consider what this ordinary day represents. Here is where you keep time, in this home with these people and this skin on. Here is the leftover chicken soup in the fridge, the grout in the bathroom that won’t come clean, your favorite corner of the sofa. Here, on this ordinary Tuesday, is where we learn to be human.

This is how we live. (pp. 146-147)

I love that. I love the realness of it all - the honesty, humility, and gratitude for what we've been given.

This is the clarity my heart has been longing for. This is rest, security, and hope, all wrapped up in one. These are the days and moments I want to remember.

Welcome, new season. I like you already.